Saturday, December 12, 2009

Tar Heel 200: The Three Rs Edition

Scheduling necessary R-12 rides in December around the weather and seasonal commitments can be a balancing act with the push and pull of compromise. A few days back, when Andy announced he was going to ride, four more of us jumped, in part because we knew we would have some great company.

Most normal people never even entertain the idea of winter riding. That was definitely me prior to randonneuring. It also explains the expressions on the faces of small groups of people sitting over hot, steaming coffee and toasty egg McMuffins awed by randonneurs donned in reflective gear readying to be swallowed up by the 6:30 AM darkness and the 22°F “feels like” temperature on the other side of the window separating normalcy from adventure. RandonneursЯUs!

You might be wondering about the rationale of a 6:30 AM start time. Obviously, Chef Andy had something special in mind. After all, this was supposed to be a “winter” ride. Part science, part culinary art, Andy’s appetizer called for the coldest part of day and a dash of darkness. For entertainment, we were treated the first mile to the festive Holiday city lights as we cruised down Main Street in Benson. The main dish included overcast skies and a slight headwind for the glutinous 62-mile return leg. The ambiance couldn’t have been better: temperatures hovered all day in the 30s and we weren’t bothered by the sun until 3 PM. Vaseline rather than sunscreen. Our compliments to Chef Andy for such a satisfying experience!

One can imagine that the three Rs referred to in the title are all about the basics of winter riding like clothing, lighting, hydration, and caloric intake, for example. True, we did discuss those things from time to time. But “the three Rs” refer in this case to R-9, R-11, and R-12.

But let me start at the beginning. Dr. John is heading to New Zealand for an extended stay. Helping him pack, we’d uncoupled his new Surly Travelers Check and had stuffed both it and him into a kiwi crate for shipment. But he begged us to let him and his bike out for just one last spin before he departed.

It seems he had some unfinished business—namely, the completion of his second R-12!
Well, he got ‘er done today. Congratulations, Dr. John!

Although John was the big winner, there were also two other winning Rs today: R-9 and R-11. Janis, Andy, and Jerry completed R-9s, while I completed R-11.
To say that Jerry completed his R-9 today is a tad misleading, since he actually extended his streak to R-45, closing in on an amazing fourth consecutive R-12!
By the way, Janis and Andy both officially completed their 2,000th kilometer today in just nine short months since joining RUSA. Congratulations!

Thanks for the company!

Let’s ride!


sag said...

> we weren’t bothered by the sun until 3 PM

Haha, you're right. It did hurt to squint for those few minutes.

Great report, Dean.

Thanks and congrats everyone,

dean furbish said...

Sag did another absolutely funny report of the same ride here you'll enjoy watching this time.


Doctor on a bike said...

Dean, that sky just plain LOOKS cold.